Every major holiday has a lot of lead-up these days, so much so that comedians regularly skewer the dates we begin to see merchandise related to the holiday pop up on store shelves (typically weeks or even months in advance).
As for Halloween? The obsessed-over Pumpkin Spice Latte showed in early September, and plastic spider rings and superhero costumes debuted in August, so it can be difficult to believe that the final day in October is actually and truly here.
But here it is, and celebrate we shall, at both cozy, home-based, apple-bobbing bashes to the mega, 500,000-strong parades (okay, there is technically only one of those, but still).
What to do, where to go and what to see
If you're not inside with a cup of hot cider and a vintage ghost flick, where will you float, like a fun-seeking phantom, on Halloween 2016? There's the...
West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval: A half million revelers will saunter along Santa Monica Boulevard between La Cienega and Doheny (and, for sure, many will be rocking some truly elaborate costumes). Everything gets going at 6 o'clock, but if you're going? The getting-there is your primo focus at the moment.
Maze Scares: A number of destinations, from Universal Studios Hollywood to the Queen Mary to the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride, still have the eeks afoot right through Halloween night. While some spots shuddered — er, shuttered — over the weekend, check in with the mondo theme park or attraction near you, to see if the monsters are still moaning.
Underwood Family Farms: If you like your seasonal delights to be of the daytime variety, a few pumpkin patches, the ones with some extra add-on events, are keeping open hours on Halloween (when the sun is out, do note). The pumpkin lots are about to call it another year, so swing by one, like this Moorpark biggie, for your fall-flavored fun. Boo at the LA Zoo is also on its final day of 2016.
Symphonic Shivers: Walt Disney Concert Hall's the spooky spot for "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" on Monday, Oct. 31 (the vintage flick'll screen with organ accompaniment). And "Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters" spotlights the director's amazing nightmare-y treasures to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (the museum closes at 5 p.m., so make this a daytime treat).
Neighborhood Yard Haunts: Those down-the-street places that go fully ghoulish around Oct. 31 are among the most charming parts of the phantom-riffic holiday. Boney Island is a Sherman Oaks classic, while Boot Hill has been haunting Irvine for well over a decade and a half. Have a house nearby that goes all out on the decorations, lights, and startles? Stop by and play a part in their big, bone-rattly, spooky sounds night.